Excerpt for Comorbid Part 1 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Comorbid Part 1: Magic Eyes

Natasha Weber

In the city of Ghrun, doctors could take a look at a gene sequence and determine exactly what type of hardships someone would suffer throughout their lifetime.

June, a young girl in the city of Ghrun was a freshmen in highschool. June was one of the popular kids. She got good grades, she was a beautiful young woman, and she was extremely social.

She loved hanging out with her many friends and she loved shopping and the many things typical girls her age liked to do.

Was there anything that was not normal about her?

Of course. Most girls in high school liked the good looking, popular boys, but not June. June was in love with a boy called Mercury who was odd in every sense of the word beginning with his name. He had two different colored eyes, and he was one of those kids who sat in the back of class and either didn’t pay attention of slept through it. Mercury did both.

But it wasn’t just that Mercury skipped class and frequently got bad grades. There were rumors he had an abusive father and a neglectful mother. Those were the types of kids everyone else steered clear of. Most of the normal kids talked about him behind his back, but tried to make sure Mercury never heard them.

June didn’t know why she loved him. She just stared at him for seconds when he wasn’t looking and fell into his eyes. She knew the risks of having a crush on him and wanting to date him; her reputation was on the line as well as… the two of them would be Comorbid together.

And so, June would sit in class sometimes—frustrated about not being brave enough to talk to him. Sometimes, Mercury would notice her staring and wink at her devilishly, which she liked, but he would never otherwise talk to her.

She wondered if his parents were truly abusive. She hoped they weren’t so she wouldn’t feel bad about dating him, but she thought by Mercury’s odd behavior that they must be.

He was a bad boy, or so she thought. He smoked sometimes, he ditched classes, and rumor had it that he sold drugs at the school (she wasn’t so sure about that one, however). There was one more rumor saying that he never liked to go home and stayed out when he could. June could believe that one.

June’s best friend, Trisha, knew that June loved Mercury. It was clear to anyone who bothered to notice, but Trisha chose to ignore it for June’s reputation and sake. But, one day, while June ate lunch with Trisha in the cafeteria, Trisha noticed June glancing at Mercury who was eating alone as usual. June was rubbing the back of her neck and looking lovesick.

Trisha crossed her arms. “June, you’re so weird. No one’s stopping you from talking to him. I mean, I don’t want you to fall in with a bad crowd, but you’re going nuts looking at that kid.”

June was embarrassed. “How did you know?”

Trisha tapped her nails on the table. “Come on June, it’s obvious.”

June sighed. “Yeah… I don’t know what to do.”

Trisha took a bite of a chip as she glanced over at Mercury. “You’re only fifteen. You’re gonna get to spend four more years with him. You have plenty of time to talk to him. Why not just wait out the years and talk to him at the last second?”

June groaned. “I can’t wait that long!”

Trisha giggled. “Geez June, the hottest guys ask you out and you take interest in the trashiest boy in the school?”

“Come on, we don’t know he’s trashy…” June said nervously.

Trisha made a face. “Really? June, we’ve all seen him smoking. Who knows what else he does. He might hurt you.”

But June didn’t hear her friend. She was looking at Mercury, who was looking back at her. For a moment, they just stared. June’s mouth was open a little in an o shape, Mercury was smiling devilishly at her. For a moment, it seemed as if the world fell away and the only thing that existed was those two different colored eyes.




June snapped back to reality and she rubbed the back of her neck again. June lay her head on the table miserably. “There’s a bug in my brain, Trisha. I’m obsessed with him. I see him when I sleep. I think about him when he’s not there, he’s in my head. I… I think we’re destined to be Comorbid.”

Trisha was silent for many moments, and then she asked, “June, what kind of genes did they find?”

June was quiet, and then she looked down and said, “borderline. What about you?”

“I’m clean, for the most part…. Some risks of alcoholism, but nothing major. How likely a candidate are you?”

June wiped a tear away. “Ninety percent.”

Trisha looked compassionate. “June, the likelihood that he had the psychopath gene is…”

June was frustrated and she looked away from her friend with angry tears in her eyes. “I know… I know I should listen to you. Just keep telling me not to talk to him. I’ll listen to you.”

Trisha put a hand over her friend’s comfortingly. “Okay. Don’t worry, I’ll be your guardian angel!”


June walked home with Trisha. They lived in the same gated neighborhood. Ghrun was a rich neighborhood with incredibly green front yards and big houses. June walked down the sidewalk of her neighborhood with her friend and stopped where her house was. June said to her friend, “promise… Promise you’ll keep my head out of the clouds?”

Trisha grinned. “Leave it to me!”

“Wait!” June cried as her friend began walking in the direction her own home lay. “Promise you won’t ever abandon me?”

Trisha shook her head with a little smile. “I won’t abandon you.”

June breathed a deep breath. “Thank you. You can go now.”

Trisha waved goodbye and then hurried home.

June knocked on the door and the maid opened it for her. “Your mother’s in the kitchen.”

June nodded and checked the kitchen; she saw a feast laid out for her and her father, who would be home soon as well.

June’s mother, Ann, was a tall woman who was just as pretty as her daughter, and who was made all the taller by thick heels garnering her feet. June wanted to wear shoes like that, but her mother wouldn’t let her.

“June,” Ann said as her daughter sat down at the table with her plate and silverware already laid out for her. “How was your day?”

Ann sat at the other end of the table opposite her daughter.

June shrugged her shoulders a little nervously. “It was fine. Made more friends, learned more math…”

Ann smiled and took a bite of the delicious steak she had made. “That sounds like fun…”

“Actually Mom…” June said, slumping down in her chair. “Hypothetically speaking… Do you think there’s anything wrong with just talking to someone who might have the psychopath gene?”

Her Mother blinked twice and then nervously put her fork down. “Are you planning on talking to someone like that?”

June could either be honest with her mother or make up a lie; she opted for honesty. “There’s this boy who’s always alone in class… He just, sits in a corner, and the other kids ignore him. He seems lonely, and yet he seems to want to be left alone. But I want to be his friend. Is that okay, Mom?”

Ann didn’t know. She was silent for a moment and then breathed heavily. “He has no other friends?”

June shook her head. “None at all…”

Ann gathered her thoughts as she crossed her legs. “Me and your father were both about fifty percent comorbid for depression and conduct disorder, but we got married anyway and had you and it was the best decision of our lives. There’s more to humans than genes. You should talk to him, especially if it’s not for sure he has the gene.”

This encouragement made June very happy, but also somewhat worried. She had her mother’s permission; nothing was stopping June now, except her friend and her own good sense.


And June’s sense and her friend Trisha kept her from talking to Mercury for still months more. By the time June almost got up the guts, it was already summer.

June had stepped very close to his table at the cafeteria and looked at him nervously. He glanced up at her for a moment and said nothing, but his creepy eyes pierced her very soul. June turned away at that moment and went to sit with Trisha and a few other friends as well.

Trisha’s mouth was open in worry and disgust. “What the hell, June? You know the risks! I’ve warned you several times!”

June scratched her head nervously. “Mom said it was okay…”

“Well, your mom is wrong.” Trisha replied.

One of June’s other friends, Justin was shocked. “You like that kid?”

June was sweating. “I don’t know. I don’t know him.”

Trisha could sense the awkwardness between the two and June’s reputation that would be damaged if Trisha didn’t step in. In late spring, Justin had asked June out and June had politely declined along with declining many other perfectly fine and handsome men in the school.

Trisha said, “she just feels bad for him. I mean, who wouldn’t? A kid like that who smokes, looks like a q-tip, and never takes notes and barely shows up for class. I can’t blame her for having compassion for someone like that.”

Justin was silent for a moment as June didn’t make eye contact with him, and then he said, “I suppose the kid is pretty pathetic. Maybe we should invite him over to our table sometime?”

June said nothing, but Trisha chimed in. “Only if you want to. I don’t know though; he could be a psycho.”

Justin addressed June directly; “What do you think, June? Would you like him to sit with us?”

June grinned awkwardly and shrugged. “I don’t care either way. If you want to invite him over sometime, go ahead.”


As summer passed, June thought her infatuation with the odd Mercury would pass. Even as other troubles arose in her life, such as her parents beginning to squabble over things like they never had done before.

“Why aren’t you ever home with our daughter? You’re working too much!” Said Mother.

“We need money to survive, Ann. You know I’d like to be home more.” Said Father.

Mother would leave it at that usually, but she began to act strangely after awhile. Mother, although she did not work, made here life about June. She cooked for June, went out with June to the mall, helped June study, paid for extra lessons for June because she wanted her daughter to be as smart as smart could be, and lastly, her Mother was just always there for her, physically and emotionally.

Now, Mother became listless. She would sit on the couch and cross her legs with a frown on her face and watch TV all day.

Those were June’s worries. But still, ever on her mind more than that, was Mercury. Those creepy, bizarre eyes that seemed to be so alien had poisoned her mind. She had to speak to him if ever she had the chance again. She was stuck on him; absolutely obsessed. She used her computer to look up his name, tried to find his house, and then chided herself for how creepy and disturbing her behavior was.

She buried her face in her hands miserably.


June was subjected to many more fights between her parents even as school began again in the fall. Most of the time, her father would yell about her mother not doing enough around the house, but her mother would just sit there silently.

June didn’t know what was wrong with her mother, but she felt like her whole world was falling apart. Her mother was her primary source of company and affection.

Craving company of any means, she called up some of her friends from school often and hung out with them whenever she could.

Trisha was still her best friend, and June hung out with her the most often. She was great company, but June discovered she was becoming bored of hanging out with her.

During math class, Trisha whispered to June, “your grades are slipping so badly—you’re looking so thin and tired… What’s going on with you?”

June’s hair was disheveled and she wasn’t wearing clothes a popular girl would usually wear. She was now wearing ugly t-shirts and jeans.

June was exhausted. She said to her friend quietly, “I… I can’t concentrate. Mom and Dad are yelling all the time. Calling each other names… Mom doesn’t pay any attention to me anymore…”

Trisha was stunned. “I had no idea.”

June didn’t cry. She was too old for such things, she convinced herself.


Some of June’s friends were more dangerous than others. Justin had fallen in with a bad crowd, and June had fallen in with him. To try and keep herself from thinking about Mercury, she started dating Justin instead.

He was kind at first—very kind—and she called and clung to him often in her loneliness. He would go out drinking with friends and she would go with him. She was thankfully never harmed, but the situation was terrifying to her and she didn’t know why she kept going.

The parties he would take her to were promiscuous and she was propositioned many times by both Justin and several men at the party. Many of the people at the party didn’t even care for privacy when they took their kissing a little too far.

There was something about the risk that made June feel alive, however.

June always felt like she was her mother and father’s daughter—a respectable, smart, well brought up and rich girl--but she didn’t now. And so, she was now Justin’s girlfriend instead—a girl who loved to take risks, drink beer, and smoke.

But, one night came, however, and June found out that she was not Justin’s girlfriend.

Justin showed up at a party he had invited June to with another girl. June was devastated. She approached Justin and asked awkwardly, “who’s this?”

He replied without a considerate thought for her feelings, “my girlfriend.”

“But I’m…”

“You won’t be my girlfriend until you’re ready to do more than just hold hands.”

June was in tears and embarrassed. The whole crowd around them had heard.

June asked pathetically, “I… I… Please let me be your girlfriend!”

Justin walked away from her with his new girlfriend.

June charged after and grabbed his shoulder. “Please! I have to be your girlfriend!”

The crowd was whispering and jeering at her as the room seemed to enclose on June and suffocate her. She was sweating with embarrassment. Justin turned around and smirked.

June couldn’t believe the way he was acting; he had previously been so kind. June looked down at her feet. She whispered, “in two days?”

Justin looked thoughtful, and then he nodded. His ‘new girlfriend’ left his side and June took it instead. She let Justin wrap an arm around her, and she felt like herself again.


After the party, however, anxiety washed over her as Justin dropped her off back at her home and June fell to her knees on the sidewalk before her house. She sobbed bitterly thinking she didn’t want to have sex, but she also desperately needed to be his girlfriend for a reason she didn’t know. She wiped her tears away and then decided to take a short walk to clear her head.

She simply couldn’t tell her mother about this and her other behaviors.

She stuffed her hands in her pockets as she went and looked up at the starry sky, letting the cold wind freeze her tears.

She walked about two blocks away from her house and then turned around a corner to a different street to see Mercury standing alone, looking up at the moon and smoking. June rubbed her hands together, feeling cold, losing warmth in her hands and everywhere else as she finally came face-to-face with him all alone like she always wanted. She knew she was going to talk to him, but she was also afraid to do so.

Mercury turned towards her and flicked away his cigarette. There was no where else to look but his bizarre eyes, which seemed to be so vast that they opened the door to another world.

June stared for a moment, and then she said awkwardly, “hello…”

Mercury frowned for a moment, but then he smiled and said, “hello.”

June wondered what to say, and then she found the words. “Why are you always alone?”

He answered her question with a question, “why are you always staring at me? See something you like?”

June smiled sheepishly. “Maybe…”

Mercury smiled a little at her honesty, and then looked up at the moon again. “I’ve never met any girl who couldn’t take their eyes off me.”

June looked down at her feet nervously. “Is there some kind of kind of magic to you? I’m always thinking about you—even when I shouldn’t be.”

Mercury smirked a little and snorted. “So I’m a toy of your thoughts? Most women don’t like it when you tell that to them.”

June blushed a bright red, disgusted at her own perverse honesty. “But you’re a man. Besides, I didn’t mean it like that…”

He shrugged. “True.” He thankfully left it at that, and to help her not feel terrible he added, “everyone has thoughts like those, anyway.”

June was silent, but elated for a moment—just gathering her thoughts. This was her chance. “Do you live around here?”

Mercury chuckled a little. “Do you want to stalk me or something?”

June was horribly ashamed; it was almost as if he knew she tried to look up his residence. At the look on her face, Mercury looked simultaneously a little disturbed and sympathetic. “Are you that in love with me?”

June honestly said, “I… I don’t know. I have so many things I want to ask you…”

Mercury raised an eyebrow. “Like what?”

“Like if you truly have the psychopath gene,” June said carelessly. She hoped he wasn’t offended.

Mercury closed his eyes with a little a smile which she found to be extremely sensuous. “If I did, would you not love me anymore, baby?” He winked humorously at her.

June looked away awkwardly. She loved when he winked at her.

Suddenly, June got a text. Her hands were trembling. Justin was reminding her of her promise by way of text.

Mercury tilted his head to the side, noticing her trembling. “Are you okay?”

June broke down because, unlike with her parents, she felt like it was okay to do so with him. She fell to her knees once again and sobbed—just writhing in crushing loneliness. “I don’t know what to do…”

Mercury knelt by her side and put a gloved hand on her shoulder. “Hey, it’s okay… Don’t cry…”

She had been looking at the ground, but now she looked at him. His eyes had her. “Are you a virgin?”

Mercury bristled a little. “Why would you ask that?”

“Because… If I don’t have sex with my boyfriend he’ll dump me.” June wiped away her ever cascading tears.

Mercury had a flat, but understanding expression on as he put a gloved hand on her cheek. “Are you cheap?”

June was offended. “No!”

“Is your body worth so little to you that you would sell it just to keep your boyfriend?” Mercury demanded to know.

June stared at him unblinkingly, enthralled by what he had to say.

“Your body is sacred… Sex is sacred to. It’s something that should only be between you and your husband. Anything less is a violation of something so beautiful. Your body won’t have any value to you if you lose it to someone you hate…” He grinned and kissed her forehead.

June chuckled and smiled back, wiping another tear away.

Mercury tried to stand up, but she grabbed his arm before he could. He looked worried. He looked terrified for a moment that she was going to kiss him, and June felt horribly dirty for wanting to. Was she too unclean for this mysterious creature that was standing in front of her? She let him go after a moment.

Mercury dusted his clothes off and then said, “I’ll see you around. Take care of that body.”

June called after him, “do you want to go out with me?”

He replied with a sarcastic chuckle, “no.”

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